I've always read positive things about wheatgrass, but this article has a different perspective on its claims, makes for an interesting read.
William T. Jarvis, Ph.D.
The notion that wheatgrass can benefit serious disease sufferers was conceived by Ann Wigmore, a Boston area resident. Wigmore (1909-94) was born in Lithuania and raised by her grandmother who, according to Wigmore, gave her an unwavering confidence in the healing power of nature. Wigmore believed in astrology, and described herself (a Pisces) as a dreamer who saw life from the spiritual viewpoint to the neglect of the physical. Wigmore's theory on the healing power of grasses was predicated upon the Biblical story of Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar who spent seven insane years living like a wild animal eating the grass of the fields. Because he recovered, Wigmore presumed that the grasses had cured his insanity. [The Bible says that a prescribed seven years of insanity was visited upon the King as Divine punishment for his arrogance. (Dan 4:31-7)]
The common observation that dogs and cats nibble on grass, presumably when they feel ill, also strengthened Wigmore's belief in the healing power of grasses . Wigmore theorized that rotting food in the intestine forms toxins that circulate in the bloodstream (aka, the intestinal toxicity theory) and cause cancer . She taught that the life span of the wheatgrass juice was less than three hours, so it had to be cut from growing plants, juiced and consumed fresh. She speculated that the enzymes found in raw wheatgrass were alive and could "detoxify" the body by oral ingestion and by enemas. Wheatgrass is prepared by sprouting wheat berries and growing them until they form chlorophyll. It was the chlorophyll in wheatgrass that enthused Wigmore. She called chlorophyll "the life blood of the planet." Wigmore believed that cooking foods "killed" them because this deactivates enzymes. She held that the moment the "sacred" 7.4 acid-alkaline balance (the same as human blood) is "killed" that its effectiveness would be reduced . (For information on exaggerations about the similarities between hemoglobin and chlorophyll see NCAHF's statement on chlorophyll.)
Enzymes are complex protein molecules produced by living organisms exclusively for their own use in promoting chemical reactions. Orally ingested enzymes are digested in the stomach and have no enzymatic activity in the eater. Enzymes do not fulfill the biological criteria for living things, because they do not: (1) consist of cellular units; (2) possess reproductive ability; (3) demonstrate irritability; (4) carry on metabolism; or, (5) grow. (Fuller HJ. The Plant World New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1956, pp.6-7).
Wigmore wrote at least 15 books and established the Hippocrates Health Institute (c.1963), which later was renamed the Ann Wigmore Institute (AWI). Wigmore claimed to have a Doctor of Divinity (DD) from the College of Divine Metaphysics in Indianapolis. She also listed a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and a Doctor of Naturopathy (ND) degree at different times. None of her credentials appear to have been from accredited schools. Among other things, Wigmore also promoted "natural hygiene," spiritual healing, zone therapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, color therapy, and spot therapy. A number of "Living Foods" groups around the world espouse Wigmore's teachings.
The fact that grass-eating animals are not spared from cancer, despite their large intake of fresh chlorophyll, seems to have been lost on Wigmore. In fact, chlorophyll cannot "detoxify the body" since it is not absorbed . Although it is conceivable that enzymes present in rectally-administered wheatgrass juice could have chemical activity, there is no evidence that this is beneficial. In fact, when challenged legally, Wigmore backed away from healing claims stating that she merely had an "educational program" to teach people how to "cleanse" their bodies and make vegetable juices (she also offered for sale a variety of juicers and other "health" paraphernalia).  In 1988, the Massachusetts Attorney General sued Wigmore for claiming that her "energy enzyme soup" could cure AIDS . Suffolk County Judge Robert A. Mulligan ruled that Wigmore's views on how to combat AIDS were protected by the First Amendment, but ordered her to stop representing herself as a physician or as a person licensed in any way to treat disease. This was not the first time Wigmore had run afoul of the law. In 1982, the Attorney General of Massachusetts sued Wigmore for claiming that her program could reduce or eliminate the need for insulin in diabetics, and could obviate the need for routine immunization in children. She abandoned those claims after losing in court...